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State v. Otani

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii

February 28, 2019

STATE OF HAWAI'I, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
SUZANNE SATOMI CHIN-YIN OTANI, Defendant-Appellant

          APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE FIRST CIRCUIT 'EWA DIVISION (CASE NO. 1DTA-17-01657)

          Scot Stuart Brower, for Defendant-Appellant.

          Loren J. Thomas, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, City and County of Honolulu, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

          GINOZA, CHIEF JUDGE, FUJISE and CHAN, JJ.

          OPINION

          GINOZA, C.J.

         Defendant-Appellant Suzanne Satomi Chin-Yin Otani (Otani) appeals from a June 13, 2017 "Notice of Entry of Judgment and/or Order and Plea/Judgment" (Judgment), entered by the District Court of the First Circuit, 'Ewa Division (District Court), [1] The District Court convicted Otani of one count of Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant (OVUII), in violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § 291E-61(a)(1), [2]and sentenced her to, among other things, a forty-eight hour term of imprisonment, pursuant to HRS § 291E-61(b) (4) .

         On appeal, Otani argues the District Court abused its discretion in sentencing her to imprisonment under HRS § 291E-61(b) (4), because the District Court did not also sentence her to imprisonment under HRS § 291E-61(b)(1)(C)(ii).

         For the reasons discussed below, we affirm the Judgment.

         I. Factual Background

         Otani was convicted for OVUII while driving with a passenger under the age of fifteen in the vehicle. The offense occurred on April 7, 2017. It was Otani's first OVUII offense.

         HRS § 291E-61(b) (Supp. 2017) provides, in relevant part:

(b) A person committing the offense of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant shall be sentenced without possibility of probation or suspension of sentence as follows:
(1) For the first offense, or any offense not preceded within a five-year period by a conviction for an offense under this section or section 29lE-4(a):
(A) A fourteen-hour minimum substance abuse rehabilitation program, including education and counseling, or other comparable program deemed appropriate by the court;
(B) One-year revocation of license and privilege to operate a vehicle during the revocation period and installation during the revocation period of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle operated by the person;
(C) Any one or more of the following:
(i) Seventy-two hours of community service work;
(ii) Not less than forty-eight hours and not more than five days of imprisonment; or
(iii) A fine of not less than $150 but not more than $1, 000;
(D) A surcharge of $25 to be deposited into the neurotrauma special fund; and
(E) A surcharge, if the court so orders, of up to $25 to be deposited into the trauma system special fund;
(2) For an offense that occurs within five years of a prior conviction for an offense under this section or section 29lE-4(a):
(3) For an offense that occurs within five years of two prior convictions for offenses under this section or section 291E-4(a):
. . .
(4) In addition to a sentence imposed under paragraphs (1) through (3), any person eighteen years of age or older who is convicted under this section and who operated a vehicle with a passenger, in or on the vehicle, who was younger than fifteen years of age, shall be sentenced to an additional mandatory fine of $500 and an additional mandatory term of imprisonment of forty-eight hours; provided that the total term of imprisonment for a person convicted under this paragraph shall not exceed the maximum term of imprisonment provided in paragraph (1), (2), or (3), as applicable. Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), the revocation period for a person sentenced under this paragraph shall be not less than two years[.]

(Emphases added).

         At sentencing, the District Court and counsel engaged in ...


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